ESPN’s Latest ‘This is SportsCenter’ Commercial Features Delta State ‘Fighting Okra’

Consumer MarketingSales & MarketingSportsCenterSportsCenter

ESPN’s Latest ‘This is SportsCenter’ Commercial Features Delta State ‘Fighting Okra’

SportsCenter Anchors Elle Duncan and Kevin Negandhi meet with Fighting Okra about bad attitude

Less than two weeks from the return of the ‘This is SportsCenter’ campaign, ESPN is back with its second spot for the fan-favorite campaign with “Performance Evaluation.”

Performance Evaluation will air for the first time during the College Football Playoff National Championship between No. 1 Georgia and No. 3 TCU on Monday, Jan. 9 at 7:30p ET on ESPN.

The creative showcases SportsCenter anchors Elle Duncan and Kevin Negandhi meeting with ‘The Fighting Okra’ from Delta State University. The anchors share that co-workers aren’t particularly thrilled with The Fighting Okra’s attitude, with Duncan noting employees have called it moody, negative, and even a buzz kill, among other descriptors.

The look on the never-changing face of The Fighting Okra says it all.

“Sports are filled with so many interesting, unforgettable characters,” said Scott Hayes, Creative, Arts & Letters. “It’s great when “This is SportsCenter” can introduce more fans to a character that might not be as known, especially on college football’s biggest night.”

This is the second installment of the This is SportsCenter return, with more commercials set to launch throughout the year featuring Olympic Gold Medalist Track & Field phenom Sydney McLaughlin, along with more athletes, mascots and SportsCenter anchors such as Jay Harris, Hannah Storm, and more.

Creative Credits
Laura Gentile – EVP, ESPN Marketing and Social Media
Seth Ader – VP, Brand Marketing
Peter Mulally – Senior Director, Brand Marketing
John Lobo – Associate Director, Brand Marketing
Lenny Washington – Marketing Coordinator, Brand Marketing
Stacey Pressman – Director, Talent Production
Katie Hennessey – Sr. Talent Producer
Matt Cheron – Associate Director, Marketing Production
Jonathan Little – Associate Producer II , Marketing Production
Cameron Gross – Associate Producer, Grande & Leonard
David Wimberley – Production Coordinator
Thomas Hamilton – Production Coordinator
J’Ron Erby – Social Media Manager, ESPN Social Content
Jordan Toczynski – Sr. Social Media Specialist, ESPN Social Content
Lauren Giudice – Social Media Manager, ESPN Social Content
Allie Snow – Social Media Specialist 1, ESPN Social Content
Chris Duffy – Director, Talent Management, ESPN Talent Development & Planning
Kalidia Reyes – Talent Relations Manager, ESPN Talent Development & Planning

 Arts & Letters
Charles Hodges – Founder/ECD
Temma Shoaf – Head of Production
Andy Grayson – Director of Strategy
Andrew Kong – Creative Director
NJ Placentra – Creative Director
Molly Jamison – Creative Director
Scott Hayes – Creative
Chris Kim – Creative
Calleen Colburn – Executive Producer
Andrea Rodriguez – Senior Producer
Austin Butler – Assistant Producer
Lenora Cushing – Director of Business Affairs
Jennifer Kmetzsch – Assistant Business Affairs Manager
Brenda Schneider – Group Business Director
Hill Shore – Business Director
Lauren Lawson – Business Manager

Adrian Mojica – Director of Operations, XYZ
Whitney Green – Executive Producer, XYZ
Ryan Dunstan – Resource Manager, XYZ
Lauren Galanides – Senior Producer, XYZ
Pat Blumer – Edit Lead, XYZ
Sho Kellam – Assistant Editor, XYZ
Rachel Hamburger – Assistant Editor, XYZ

O Positive
Jim Jenkins – Director
Marc Grill – Executive Producer
Vince Vennitti – DP
Toni Barton – Production Designer

Tim Masick – Colorist
Ryan Moncrief – Color Producer
Stephen Winterhalter – Color Assistant 

Creative Lead
Nathan Kane
Kathleen Kirkman

Anna Kravstov
Kat Maidment
Sebastien Le Coz

Barking Owl
Elizabeth McClanahan – Sound Designer & Mixer
Ashley Benton – Executive Producer
Jenna Pangilinan – Associate Producer
Kelly Bayett – Creative Director


John R. Manzo

Based in New York City, John Manzo is a Communications Manager for ESPN with a focus on ESPN BET, sports betting, consumer marketing and corporate citizenship. He is a Michigan native, Detroit sports fan and proud Central Michigan University graduate.
Back to top button